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California Carbon Allowance (CCA) prices increased ahead of next week’s quarterly auction with speculative demand fuelling those gains, while RGGI Allowances (RGA) hit fresh all-time highs this week on elevated buying interest.
German utility RWE may be forced to close its remaining lignite-burning power plants earlier than planned, saying on Thursday it is “conceivable” that the next German government will ratchet up its coal phaseout to meet tougher EU emissions goals.
EUAs fell back on Thursday as buyers retreated after failing several times to push prices beyond €58. Growing selling interest then drove prices lower, despite continued strength across the energy complex.
Genesis, one of the biggest emitters covered by the New Zealand ETS, has signed a long-term agreement with Contact Energy on geothermal electricity delivery that will see its NZU demand drop.
Chinese investments in green bonds more than doubled in the first half of 2021 compared to the same period last year, a report said this week, with clean energy and transport the main beneficiaries.
The Architecture for REDD+ Transactions (ART) programme announced the approval on Wednesday of two new concepts for subnational deforestation reduction plans in Ghana and Vietnam, with the African country proposing to run its initiative alongside another jurisdictional-scale carbon credit endeavour.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Spending shortfall – UK government climate spending is lagging behind what advisers say is needed, according to analysis published by green group WWF. The study says new green policies in the March 2021 Budget add up to just 0.01% of GDP, while the government’s own advisory Climate Change Committee has said 1% of GDP must be spent every year in the UK to ensure climate targets are met. WWF says its research also shows that some Budget policies that encourage pollution totalled £40 bln – far more than the PM’s green plan. (BBC)
Off the boil – UK PM Boris Johnson is poised to backtrack on a plan to ban new gas boilers from being installed after 2035. He is now expected to water down the plans over concerns from ministers and MPs in his Conservative party about the cost to consumers of transitioning to net zero emissions. Replacing millions of gas boilers is a key part of the UK’s strategy to hit its 2050 net zero emissions target. A final decision is not expected until the government publishes its long-awaited Heat and Buildings Strategy document, now expected this autumn. (FT)
NDP on GHGs – Canadian NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh released his left-wing party’s campaign platform ahead of a potential election call, pledging to go further than the current Liberal government on climate policy. The NDP is pledging to set up a “climate emergency” cabinet committee to help jumpstart reducing emissions 50% below 2005 levels by 2030, up from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s 40-45% enhanced Paris Agreement NDC commitment made this spring. The platform also says the party will establish multi-year and sectoral carbon budgets, eliminate fossil fuel subsidies, and continue with carbon pricing while “making it fairer and rolling back loopholes this Liberal government has given to big polluters”. The NDP is currently polling well below the centre-left Liberals and right-wing Conservatives, according to CBC polling data. This comes as anonymous sources told CBC that Trudeau is expected to visit Rideau Hall on Sunday to ask that parliament be dissolved, triggering the next federal election. The sources said Trudeau will announce a 36-day campaign, the minimum length permitted by law, meaning voting day would occur Sep. 20. (CTV News)
Renewables research – US oil majors ExxonMobil and and Chevron are seeking to bulk up in the burgeoning renewable fuels space by finding ways to make such products at existing facilities, sources familiar with the efforts told Reuters. A task force was created at Exxon’s request within international standards and testing organisation ASTM International to determine the capability of refiners to co-process up to 50% of certain types of bio-feedstocks to produce sustainable aviation fuel, according to the sources. Meanwhile, Chevron is looking into how to run those feedstocks through their fluid catalytic crackers (FCC), gasoline-producing units that are generally the largest component of refining facilities. The company is partnering with the US EPA and California regulator ARB to develop a path to produce renewable gasoline that would qualify for emissions credits.
Taking names – The Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets (TSVCM) has published the names of all individuals and organisations that have expressed interest for six roles in the initiative’s governance body. The advisory board of the private sector-led TSVCM, launched by UN climate finance envoy Mark Carney last year, is aiming next month to recommend the Board of Directors’ founding sponsors and independent board members, Expert Panel members, and the Executive Secretariat host as it seeks to increase voluntary offset trade 15 times over current levels by 2030.
Ain’t it the (Manu)life? – Hancock Natural Resources Group, a subsidiary of Canada-based Manulife Investment Management, has acquired more than 36,000 ha of timberland in Maine along the Quebec border for a voluntary emissions reduction (VER) project. Manulife Investment Management, the asset management arm of the Canadian insurer, will reserve the right to sell the VERs to other firms or use them as ‘insets’ for the purpose of meeting its net zero commitments.
Blue blowback – Blue hydrogen, which is made from fossil gas and deploying CCS, could be up to 20% worse for the climate than using gas in homes and heavy industry, owing to the CO2 and methane emissions that escape when gas is extracted from the ground and split to produce hydrogen, according to a study published in the journal Energy Science & Engineering. It found that fugitive emissions from producing blue hydrogen could eclipse those associated with extracting and burning gas when multiplied by the amount of gas required to make an equivalent amount of energy from hydrogen. (Guardian)
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